Crozer Employees Raise Money for Co-Worker Going Through Treatment for Breast Cancer
Wearing their matching T-shirts, Crozer employees gather to surprise their colleague, Jackie DelBorrello (standing in the front row, third from left). Erik Eleftherakis, who helped organize the fund-raiser, is second from the left.
One day this spring, Crozer-Keystone Health System respiratory therapist Jackie DelBorrello thought she was meeting some co-workers at Crozer-Chester Medical Center to go out to lunch, but instead she got a special surprise. When she approached the medical center in a car driven by her friends, she saw several dozen of her colleagues with matching black T-shirts, including several on motorcycles. The employees erupted in cheers and applause when she emerged from the car in front of the Crozer Regional Cancer Center.
DelBorrello, right, hugs Eleftherakis.
DelBorrello, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer, quickly learned that a group of Crozer employees had raised $1,200 for her benefit through the sale of T-shirts with a special “Ride Against Cancer” logo. They presented the money to her to offset her treatment expenses as well as for her to donate to her favorite breast cancer-related charities.
“They totally surprised me,” says DelBorrello, who is 48 and a resident of Secane. “I did not have an inkling about what they were doing.”
The motorcycle-riding employees who donated money to DelBorello’s cause and who joined in the impromptu presentation included not only members of the Respiratory team, but physicians, nurses and staff members from throughout the hospital. After many photos and hugs, DelBorrello and a portion of the group (who had come in on their day off for the event) drove to Bahama Breeze in King of Prussia for lunch, where the group was treated to free appetizers.
DelBorrello, who works at Crozer as well as Taylor Hospital and Delaware County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) within the Crozer-Keystone Health System, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2009 at Crozer by Crozer radiologist Irene Woo, M.D. She had a lumpectomy performed at Crozer by surgeon Mary Lou Patton, M.D., and has received chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments at DCMH under the direction of Mary Denshaw-Burke, M.D., and Deborah Markiewicz, M.D. Patton was among those who joined in the presentation.
“All of my co-workers have been incredible throughout everything I’ve gone through. They have supported me so much, from simply listening to me and asking how I’m doing to donating time so that I could take off to recuperate,” DelBorrello says. “I want to thank all of them for all that they’ve done.”
Erik Eleftherakis, a Crozer respiratory therapist, organized the surprise campaign. He says, “Jackie has always been the kind of person who will step up and help her co-workers. That’s why we decided to do something to help her when she needed it – even though she never would have asked for the assistance. In the Respiratory Department, we take care of each other.”